Matney: Are you sitting down?
Have you ever had someone call you and ask, “Are you sitting down?” “Why,” you ask. They say, “I have some great news I want to share with you. You better be sitting down.”
And then they proceed to tell you the wonderful news: “We just won the lottery!” Or, “We’re expecting a new grandbaby!” They might ask you to sit down if they have bad news to share also. So, there could be wonderful news or sad news being shared, but they ask you to sit down. Today, I want to invite you to sit down because I would like to share some good news with you.
In John 6:1-11, a very large crowd of people came to hear Jesus teach. In verses 5-6 we read, “Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.”
Did you catch that? “He already had in mind what he was going to do.” The good news is that God has already figured out where your next meal is coming from — and every meal after that. You don’t have to worry about food, clothing or any other provision for tomorrow. God already has in mind how to provide for you and me.
Have you ever known anyone who just couldn’t sit still? Maybe a child, or a spouse, or maybe you’re the one who is always up, busy, on the go, and maybe even frantic and behind schedule. Is that you? You have to be busy doing something all of the time. But really, there is a time to just sit down and quit being anxious, nervous and fearful.
Now, of course I’m not talking about sitting around, wasting time. What I’m saying is that if we will sit down, put on some good music, meditate in our Bibles and other inspirational materials, relax, pray, and listen to the gentle voice of God, we can fill up on soul-satisfying faith, hope, love, joy, peace, and happiness that will improve and enhance the quality of our lives. But we have to sit down, slow down and stop our frantic pace of life. Jesus had the people sit down.
Jesus said, “Have the people sit down…” Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.
Jesus showed the crowd that providing food, or anything else we need, is not a problem for God. Jesus was also showing that he is the source of life. He is the bread of life (John 6:35). Jesus called this the food that endures for eternity. He sustains all creation by the word of his power (Hebrews 1:3). In order to be fed and to see the miracle Jesus did, the people had to sit down. Today, if we want to see God at work, we will have to sit down, be still and listen.
Notice, it was the ones who were seated who got to eat as much as they wanted. If we will learn to sit still and listen to the master’s voice, and absorb what he has to say to us, he will strengthen us for the work ahead, order our steps and fill our lives with his love, joy and peace. Are you sitting down?
And, now for a final thought. In Isaiah 30:15-16 (Voice Translation), God said, “Listen! The Lord, the Eternal, the Holy One of Israel says, ’In returning and rest, you will be saved. In quietness and trust you will find strength. But you refused. You couldn’t sit still; instead, you said, ‘No! We will ride out of here on horseback. Fast horses will give us an edge in battle.’ But those who pursue you will be faster still.’”
They were a people who couldn’t sit still. And they missed out on the protection and blessing God could have given to them. God was saying to Israel of old, and to us today, you can’t outrun your problems. They are bigger, faster and more determined than you are. Speed or frantic activity is not the answer. You can’t outrun your enemies of anxiety, fear, laziness, anger, or any other slave master. The only way to escape your enemies is to return to God, sit quietly at the feet of Jesus, meditate on his person and preaching, and rest in his power. Are you sitting down?
Friend, God knows how to meet all of your future needs and protect and bless you in every way. It starts today by sitting down and letting God speak his love to your heart. Come, sit down.
Dan Matney is the pastor at New Life Assembly of God in Avon. Email him at email@example.com.